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All Twin-Cam cam chests fail. It is just a matter of time and miles…

Cam chest upgrades are one of Cycle Solutions Inc.’s specialties. We install thousands of cam chests across the country every year. Why is this one of our popular services? Because the stock cam chests fail. They are like a time bomb ticking away until one day they let go.

One of the reasons cam chest fail is because of the stock cam chain tensioners in 1999-2006 Twin-Cams. We see springs that break on these spring loaded tensioners as well as wear on the tensioner shoe with as little as 3000 miles on them. The material that Harley uses for the tensioner shoe is not strong enough to hold up to the chain running across them over time. This shoe can be worn down to metal very rapidly and can actually break off and make its way into your engine. (see video below that shows the shoe laying in the bottom of the cam chest!) Hydraulic tensioners are in 2007-2016 models. The material used on the cam tensioners shoes for the newer bikes is slightly thinner and wear out just as fast if not faster than the older spring loaded type.

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Secondly, the inner bearings in all models have cages that separate the needles and the needles wear out. When they wear out, the needles get spit out and it trashes the motor.
There is also an oil pump o-ring where the oil pump meets the case. This o-ring hardens over time. The sump side of the oil pump becomes inefficient in removing the oil from the case. It is a dry sump engine and it is not suppose to have a lot of oil in the case. The o-ring is suppose to be soft and pliable. We have a saying at Cycle Solutions Inc. If that o-ring is harder than a woodpeckers lips then it must be replaced!

Lastly, Cam lobes can get damaged by these parts that are worn down and torn off and moving around in your cam chest. If lobes are damaged it affects the cam load and you will lose performance from your motorcycle. If you do not replace these parts then your cam chest may explode in your bike. This can cause damage to your case and it will need replaced and that is not an inexpensive part to purchase.

For 1999-2006 models Cycle Solutions replaces the spring loaded chain driven cams with gear driven cams as long as the crank has the correct run out. This eliminates the tensioners all together and makes a brick shithouse cam chest. In the 2007 and newer models our cam chest uses the Zippers hydraulic tensioner’s that will not fail. Zippers recommends checking the wear after 100,000 miles compared to 30,000 miles on the stock ones. We have inspected a pair of Zippers tensioners after 100,000 miles and there was no wear at all! We offer many different brand and sizes of cams to choose from because proper cam size selection is critical! We see so many motorcycles that have the wrong cam size and the rider is disappointed in their motorcycle’s performance. We take the time to ask our customers questions in regards to what they want to gain from a set of cams so that they get the results that they want.

Cycle Solutions Inc. is running a winter special on Cam chest installs from our Hartford City, In and our Ft Myers, Fl location for a limited time. Get that new cam chest in this winter and then you can ride the wheels off in the spring. You will have a stronger motor, more power AND confidence that your bike is not deteriorating from the inside out.

We are currently working on a bike in Ft Myers that was brought in because it was making noises and lagging in performance. Watch our video showing the results of our cam chest inspection. Classic case of cam chest failure!